It’s been a week and half since I got back from Singapore, and I can almost certainly say that never in my life have so many things happened in the space of twenty four hours. It was a delight to see how much effort we all put into our time together, combined with levels of sneakiness and gullibility that I suppose only happens when you are good friends.
The foundation to the weekend was to fly to Singapore to scare the shit out of Markus, who had left Taipei a week before. Personally speaking, I would have been more than happy to shock the crap out of him, have a few beers with the guys for the last time and turn round and go back to Taiwan again. Things began to escalate in the most delightful way when Anke and Lars announced that they were jumping on a plane from Shanghai to reunite the Asus team once more, complete.
And this is how things started. I landed, waited out the back of their house and stormed the place armed with digital camera to catch Markus’ face (which more or less maintained the same expression for the rest of the weekend) and record the incredible intake of breath when I barged through the back door; I believe Tanja was spinning a tale of a local Chinese man who enjoys running around naked, so Markus was obviously on guard.
We looked after ourselves, to an extent, and went to bed. Team Shanghai arrived at early doors, and they grabbed a couple of hours in the front room. A huge breakfast was prepared, and once again they waited out the back. Markus had asked, rather wistfully, whether Anke & Lars would be coming, so when they too came smashing through the door Markus was clearly quite moved.
Anke & Lars wait out the back with a well deserved mug of latte
And such the weekend began, celebrating Markus leaving the island… and it is at this point that the ulterior plans of the weekend began to unveil.
Now, we were told to dress smart and hand over our passports. We were not sure if we were heading to Indonesia or Malaysia, but this seemed fairly plausible. The flowers that arrived too, seemed perfectly logical. It was Deepavali in Singapore at the time (the loudest festival in Asia), so flowers were everywhere. And when we arrived at the harbour for our awaiting boat, still nobody asked too many questions (except Lars, who was complaining that Michael had truly become Singaporean, in finally ordering a tour guide).
Off we launched, beers in hand and the wind in our hair. We plotted a course through supertankers and fishing boats until we were almost at ‘Sisters Island’ and the destination for our picnic. Michael, who had been rather quiet for a few minutes, chose this moment to stand up and make his own announcement – that Tanja and he planned to be married, and the tour guide was in fact the solemniser, and ‘why did he need our passports?’… because we were witnesses! The truth reveals itself!
Several minutes of wide eyed, wide mouthed wide eveything’d shouting, laughing, kissing hugging, photographing and staring in disbelief elapsed before, upon a small swell Tanja and Michael wed. It really was the most marvelous moment in time, and I am still in awe of the level of planning (and deceit) necessary in bringing us all together.
Markus, who had arrived in Singapore expecting a quiet weekend of dining and relaxation, carried an expression on his face of shock and awe… someone, well, that expected a weekend of relaxation and instead got an international goodbye party, combined with wedding, punctuated with LIES, wonderful wonderful lies.
We spent a happy afternoon, on an island shared with some crabby French expats and crabbier Monkeys, sipping champagne, splishing and splashing in the sea and generally feeling rather lucky that we were here together on the beach… in Singapore.
Photos and word cannot do this justice. Amazing.
Eye of the tiger
Anke, as always, entertained by me
The screaming begins!
Mr. & Mrs. Held!
Markus looks on, knowing he has some unexpected surprises when he gets married!
Anke is radiant!
We manage to surround the island and invade!
Markus and I run into the sunset together
We play some games with the 2 second timer on the camera
Have a nice day!
Band of Brothers
The sun sets
Time for bed … and the surprises for Markus do not stop!
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